Chocolate and Banana tart

banana and chocolate tart recipe

Hello lovelies!

The other day I was browsing a lovely blog called Citrus and Candy and noticed her warm chocolate and banana tart. I adapted the recipe and changed it a bit – mainly because I didn’t have a lot of the ingredients! I bought this really cool rectangular tart tray, and I have had it for months and never used it. It is another tray from Cynthia Barcomis awesome collection.

cooked bananas

The pastry is slightly different to the normal shortcrust sweet pasty I use. This time I use icing sugar (powdered sugar) instead of caster sugar and it really gives a MUCH lighter consistency, which I prefer in a dessert. As it is a bit less elastic, I would definitely recommend leaving it in the fridge for at least an hour. Otherwise it will get too hot and will just break when you try and place it in the tray.

I am finding taking photos after work more and MORE challenging, because the light is fading quicker. I hope this hasn’t effected the photos!

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Banana & Coconut Pancakes

banana and coconut pancakes recipes

Good day weekenders. I don’t normally post much at the weekend… but today it was such a glorious day when I woke up… that I thought PANCAKES! My card got sucked into the cash machine last night… and the banks don’t really open at the weekends so I’m using up the coins in my frog king money bank. It was a present from my flatmates for my birthday and THANK GOD for it… had no idea I had put 2 euros coins in there! Anyway… back to pancakes.

I had some dried coconut and bananas that needed to be used up as well as the blueberry compote from the ice cream I made (see last post). So instead of making plain old pancakes, I made banana and coconut ones. It hadn’t really even occured to me to do this before until my boyfriend quoted that Banana Pancakes song by Jack Johnson.. and I was like… wait a second… BANANA pancakes. That sounds amazing!

banana and coconut pancakes recipes

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Vanilla Ice Cream & Blueberry Compote

vanilla ice cream with blueberry compote

Hello ice-cream lovers. As I have previously mentioned, I am NOT the biggest fan of ice cream… I find it cold. BUT I am a bit fan of jelly with ice cream. I had some friends round for a jelly and ice cream evening… turned out to be a bit more wine based than ice cream focused!

One of my pet hates, if finding recipes online that include things that I don’t have – like an ice cream machine. Seriously.. in the days of old, when there was no electricity, I am pretty sure there was ice cream. Additionally … have you SEEN how expensive ice cream machines are?! It’s extortionate!! I refuse to be sucked into it…

vanilla ice cream recipe

Instead, I made a very basic vanilla ice cream. Not only was it deliciously creamy and insanely easy to make – I made it during my lunch break – but it doesn’t have any chemicals or preservative in it. It also tastes MIGHTY fine with jelly.

vanilla ice cream recipe

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Soda Bread: a Steak and Tomato relish sandwich

steak sandwich on soda bread

Happy Tuesday…

I am in one of those foul moods where I hate everything… Haha, pleasant I know. Our flat hasn’t had hot water for days, I can’t be bothered to work and all I want to do is read about cooking, cook, eat and possibly watch an episode of Game of Thrones at a push. I am never normally like this.. but when I get in a mood like this I seeth and while I politely chat away to people below the surface I am screaming GO AWAY. Ever had one of those days?

soda bread recipe

I think it’s the hot water thing… I feel like a greasy stinky person. I probably am at this point.

Anyway, foul mood aside, I made soda bread for the first time yesterday and I must say, it’s bloody amazing! I love baking bread.. but I always get this feeling of fear at how long it will take for the yeast to rise etc. But with soda bread, you don’t even use yeast… which is the beauty of it all. I added honey and butter milk and this made it so lovely and moist! It takes about 10 minutes to make and 20 minutes to bake. Then I just fried some minute steaks with salt and gorgonzola on top, made some tomato relish (a la Trisha) and added some rocket. In fact I think it took about 40 minutes to make a delicious meal… all homemade – bar the cheese!

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Barcomi’s: A Baking Success!

an interview with cynthia barcomi

Many of you who live in or have visited Berlin may know Barcomi’s. Whether it’s the Deli set in a leafy courtyard in Mitte’s Sophien Strasse or the Coffee Roastary on Kreuzberg’s well frequented Bergmannstrasse that you associate with the name, one thing you will all know – the coffee and the cakes are delightful.

But if you don’t know the back story to it’s conception, I have a little interview with founder Cynthia Barcomi to give you some tips on her success. Originally from the U.S, Barcomi came over to Berlin as a dancer 28 years ago, but found her passion in baking.

You are originally from the US, tell us a bit about your background.

I was born in Seattle, WA and am the youngest of three sisters.  My father was a lawyer, my mother a homemaker.  I was always very creative, began taking dance lessons at the age of 3 and began baking at this time, as well.  I went to an all-girls boarding school in upstate New York, which I credit with making me the person that I am today.  I continued on to Columbia University where I studied philosophy and theater and graduated with honors.  I moved to Berlin in 1985 as a professional
dancer and have been here ever since!


I read that you used to be a dancer, what made you switch to baking?
I danced professionally in Berlin for 8 years.  After my second daughter was born (I have 4 children) I decided I wanted to do something else, so I began to roast coffee beans.  I knew I had potential to do other things in my life, I just had to decide what that was!  Baking started out as just a thing on the side, which blossomed into…my life, my purpose in life.
What’s your favourite dance piece?
Well, I just love Balanchine, Jerome Robbins, Pina Bausch.  Netherlands Dans Theater is also so amazing – I can’t decide on just one!

cinnamon rollsThe famous cinnamon rolls and scones

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Eclairs: Classic Chocolate, Mango or Rosewater

eclairs recipe

My sister is visiting me in Berlin at the moment. So I had a day off and we went swimming in Badeschiff.. which on really hot days is a paradise for smug hipsters and their possies.. but on moderately hot week days.. it is a nice place to chill and swim outside. We got the latter.. thank GOD!

We also decided to make eclairs of all different kinds… We did the classic chocolate glaze with creme patissiere. Then we made rosewater glaze… for some others, and finally, white chocolate glaze (with pink food colouring) with mango creme patissiere…. THOSE ONES WERE FANTASTIC…!

eclairs recipe

If you are going to try and make these.. I would say just clean up as you go along… you are going to need a LOT of pots and pans and having a partner in crime is also great. Sloj (my sister – photographed below, her real name is Selina) was so helpful and a great baker!

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Rice Pudding with Caramelized Orange Compote

rice pudding with orange compote

I remember the days of school dinners. The days of Ambrosia rice pudding. Some people think of this fondly, but I hated the stuff. I was always completely disgusted by the taste of the stuff.

The system at my primary school was that you HAD to have dessert, but you could choose two different portions: DOT or normal. As you may have guessed, dot meant the tiniest amount and normal.. just a standard portion. I always always took normal for everything except for Ambrosia rice pudding… and I couldn’t even bear to eat that, so I would swish it around the bowl to make it look like I had had normal… I always got in trouble for this…

I actually don’t mind Ambrosia now, but I thought I would try this wonderful vanilla rice pudding with orange compote. I found it at Gourmet Traveller – if you haven’t seen this site, it is a must read online magazine. The recipes and food photography are spot on.

orange and vanilla

rice pudding with orange compote recipe
I’m not going to copy the recipe and put it on here… because I feel like Gourmet Traveller should get the credit so if you fancy making this deliciously simple and creamy dish, click here.

I really like the idea of this compote – I could imagine it would work with a lot of different fruit, like rhubarb, peach, maybe even lime…

Don’t forget to store the rice pudding in the fridge if you have any left… those fruit flies love a bit of rice pudding.

Have a lovely day!


rice pudding with orange compote recipe

Fig, Sultana and White Chocolate Cake

fig and sultana cake recipe

I have always loved fruit. Growing up my mum would buy it and the next day it would all be gone. I was a bit over the top.. if I had one delicious tasting peach… I would eat about 3 of the same batch. As Marge Simpson quite eloquently put it, fruit is natures candy… and sometimes it hits a spot that chocolate and sweets just can’t.

My mum is Sri Lankan, but she grew up in Malaysia. As a result she introduced me to a wealth of crazy looking, and sometimes crazy tasting fruit such as rambutan, dorian, jack fruit and my ultimate favourite mangostine. When we would go to Malaysia to visit family and friends everyone would laugh at how I would eat the stuff by the kilo… and then I would sit quietly as I felt… a little bit sick from eating too much.

However, figs are not a fruit that I have eaten or used in cooking a lot in the past. Actually having moved to Berlin has made me much more aware of them. The turkish shops in my area all stock 2 kinds of fig… not sure if they are different types actually or if they are just at different stages of ripeness. But anyway, apparently they are quite the luxury product, selling at 69 cence a piece. I wanted to use them as a garnish on this cake, because they are have such a wonderful palette of colour inside, from green, yellow, red, brown and purple… even magenta! Cutting them up was a visual delight!

fig cake recipe

I don’t know if I have mentioned the fact that we have the most generous of neighbours. A family who bring us food a couple of times a week. When I moved in I was astonished at this… especially as we don’t often give them anything and although, their kids borrow our bike pump once in a while or come up and ask for newspaper etc, that is hardly worthy of the year round cooking the wife does to fill our stomachs. Stuffed courgettes, vine leaves, moussaka, salads… you name it.. they bring it.

As it is Ramadan at the moment and they are fasting, the family have been bringing us stuff EVERY night.. as soon as the sun  sets. So I thought, I should make something luxurious to say thanks in a way. I hope they liked it! My flatmates had a piece and said it was good.

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